Sometimes, the unknown can be more daunting than it actually is. If you’re preparing to get dental implants, your mind is probably swirling with concerns, questions, and ideas about what’s going to happen during each appointment. Instead of wondering and planning for the worst, you can ease your mind by knowing exactly what to expect. Read on to learn how you can prepare for your dental implant placement and what benefits you’ll be able to enjoy once you have completely healed.
What to Expect
Typically, the dental implant procedure can be separated into four major phases followed by check-up visits to make sure your new teeth are working perfectly.
This first visit will consist of a thorough examination of your gums, teeth, and facial structure to determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure and if you’ll be able to heal from the surgery. Your implant dentist will take X-rays of your mouth and develop a customized timeline so you can learn details like cost, how long it will take, and how many implants you need to have placed.
Once you’ve decided that implants are the right choice for you, and your implant dentist has determined that you’re a good candidate, they’ll schedule your surgery. Local anesthesia or IV sedation may be used to make sure you don’t feel any pain during the process. Most patients return to work the following day, although some side-effects may include swelling or bruising.
After your surgery, you’ll go through a healing period of several months, depending on how many implants you had placed. During this period, each titanium post will naturally fuse with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This ensures that your posts are a strong, stable foundation for your replacement teeth to secure to.
Abutment and Restoration Placement
Once your healing period is over, your implant dentist will call you in for your abutment placement. These are small metal connector pieces that will hold your restoration in place. They’ll then take impressions of your mouth and send them off to a dental laboratory to craft your customized crown, bridge, or denture. When your dentist receives it, they’ll call you in and secure them to your abutments, completing your restored smile.
The entire process can take anywhere from three to nine months depending on a variety of factors like how many implants you had placed. After your restorations have been secured to your implants, your implant dentist may suggest periodical follow-up visits to make sure that they’re functioning exactly as they should.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Because dental implants will rebuild your missing teeth from the roots up, you’ll be able to enjoy several benefits that you wouldn’t have been able to with traditional replacement options. These include:
- A long lifespan
- Improved oral health
- Stronger replacement teeth
While these are just a few advantages, you’ll notice even more as you go about your day-to-day life. As you prepare to receive your dental implants and revitalize the function and look of your mouth, it helps to know exactly what you can expect. With this basic outline, you’ll be able to make your treatment as stress and worry-free as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Betaharon continued his education after dental school to perfect his skills and gain even more experience in his field. He has been a certified Invisalign provider since 2011 and received a Dental Student Award from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. With advanced training in dental implants, he enjoys improving his patients’ quality of life by restoring the function of their mouth and optimizing their oral health. For questions or to schedule an initial consultation to replace missing teeth, visit La Plata Dental’s website or call 240-349-2439.